Merrell CMO Wins Marketing Leader of the Year Award
Janice Tennant was honored with the annual accolade
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
Merrell chief marketing officer Janice Tennant has been named a Marketing Leader of the Year by the Women in Content Marketing Awards (WICMA) for her work bringing more inclusion and diversity to the footwear brand’s outreach.
Tennant is one of six women to be honored with the distinction this year, which is presented by Masthead Media and the Content Marketing Institute. The Marketing Leader of the Year was established to “recognize the outstanding work of inspiring and accomplished innovators, spotlighting specific achievements made by women.”
“It’s energizing to be recognized among such exceptional talent across the ever-changing content marketing landscape, and I’m humbled to know the impact our combined efforts have,” Tennant said in a statement released by Merrell. “My dream for the Merrell brand is to build the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts, and an award like this solidifies the work we’re doing.”
The WICMA cited Tennant’s leadership in creating a social accountability task force at Merrell and promoting diversity and social justice both within Merrell and the greater outdoor industry. Merrell’s More Less campaign, which Tennant developed, promotes women’s health through getting outside.
The award also credits Tennant with strengthening Merrell’s digital and direct-to-consumer strategies. Her efforts have gotten the brand on a path to double Merrell’s online sales within a year.
Tennant joined Merrell as CMO in 2020 after a previous position as CMO of CAT Footwear. In 1996, she graduated from Queen’s University in Toronto with dual degrees in health education and psychology, and earned her MBA in 2001 from the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
In a 2020 interview with OBJ, Tennant outlined her philosophy for active-lifestyle businesses, saying it’s important for brands to celebrate and promote all types of outdoor activities.
“There are a lot of people who embrace the outdoors through family camping, walks in the woods—all those activities we sometimes ignore because they’re not as extreme as the others,” she said. “That kind of participant is just as important.”
She also said marketing is critical to expanding inclusivity throughout the industry.
“If you think about other storytelling media—film, TV, novels, and so forth—those have proven that representation of different types of people can shape the minds and attitudes of society,” Tennant said. “For me, as I think about our industry, it’s important to make sure we’re building inclusive narratives into our marketing plans and telling stories about all kinds of people. If we do that, we have the ability to welcome everyone into outdoor spaces by making them feel truly invited.”
Merrell is owned by Wolverine Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: WWW).